The three bothers run away from home, and encounter an old man's garden and start picking and eating the vegetables from his garden.
The narrator Jonah in this scene is distancing himself from his brother's who are causing trouble to the old man. The old man sympathizes with the children as they tell him they have run away from home and that their mother is dead. The old man calls the three boys "babies" and "sweets" and goes and makes the boys a salad to eat. Jonah's older brothers, Manny and Joel get into an argument and start fighting. Jonah yells at them to stop and thinks back to the times he has observed his mother pleading for his father to stop hitting her. Jonah is seen as a bystander in this chapter, he isn't socializing with his brothers as much, but he likes the old man's company as they bond over mosquitoes. Jonah thinks back at the times he
could've done something but doesn't because he is scared.
We were ashamed before him
This your garden?
Don't tell lies about Ma being dead
You think you know everything but you don't
Our Ma was still broken, still dead-eyed but she was not dead
What's wrong with the other locusts, why do they come last, and whats left for them to eat
I though of Ma whispering that same word to our father